- 1 each large carrot and onion cut into neat 1/4 inch dice
- 2 or 3 tender celery stalks, neatly diced
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- Seasonings: salt, freshly ground pepper, and dried tarragon
- A 2-pound skinless fillet of salmon, about 1/2 inch thick
- About 1 1/2 cups dry white French vermouth
- Lightly butter a baking dish that will just hold the fish carefully. If you need to cut the fish (crosswise) to make it fit, don’t worry: the vegetables will mask the surgery.
- Butter wax paper to cover the fish.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Cooked the diced vegetables slowly in butter until quite tender, but not browned — about 10 minutes. Season lightly with salt, pepper, and a big pinch of dried tarragon.
- Go over the salmon carefully with your fingers to detech any little bones; pull them out with tweezers or pliers. Score the skin side of the fish. Dust with salt and peper, and place best side up in the baking dish.
- Spread the diced vegetables over the fish, and put 1/2 inch of vermouth around it. Cover the fish with teh wax paper, buttered side down.
- Set the fish in the lower middle level of the preheated oven, and, when beginning to bubble lightly, baste the surface with the liquid in the dish. Baste several times again until the flesh feels lightly springy to the touch (12-15 minutes).
- Remove from the oven, and, holding the fish in place with a pot cover, drain the cooking juices into a saucepan. Slide the fish onto a hot platter, cover, and keep warm while making the sauce.
- Rapidly boil down the cooking juices in the saucepan until almost syrupy. Pour them over the fish and vegetables, and serve.
- May be assembled to the point where it is ready to go into the oven. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake.
- If all we have is domestic vermouth, we don’t worry about it.
Nancy and Steve’s copy of Julia Child, The Way to Cook, p. 85.
Fantastic recipe! Highly recommend this basic but elegant dish. Of course, I haven’t actually cooked it myself; I was lucky enough to have Nancy and Steve cook it for me. My outcome may be a bit different.
Julia is turning over in her grave. French vermouth, Noilly Prat, is a must. My go to entertaining dish. Have used other fish and works. Cooked it stove top with filets.